Konbit Ak Tet Ansanm (KATA)—Working Together in Haiti

Haiti road buildingKonbit Ak Tet Ansanm (KATA)—Working Together in Haiti

In Haiti, CHF International is undertaking the KATA program. KATA, which stands for the Creole “Konbit Ak Tet Ansanm”, the principle of working together to accomplish a common goal, is a program designed to create long and short term employment for the people of Haiti, a country with an unemployment rate estimated at around 60%. CHF International does this through community involvement in rehabilitation of infrastructure projects and through helping existing industries to increase their capacity, efficiency and reach new markets. After the disastrous tropical storm season of 2008, CHF is also partnering with the community in order to reduce the risks of flooding, destruction and loss of life caused by hurricanes and other adverse weather.

These programs, planned for a four year duration, total $104 million in funding from USAID, and have been in process since 2006. A significant aspect of the programs includes our work with the private sector in Haiti, an essential aspect of developing long term sustainable employment.

Recent examples of our projects include:

The completion of Route 9 through Cite Soleil. Cite Soleil, a shanty town of more than 200,000 residents, was considered by the UN to be the most dangerous place on earth in 2004 and was cut off from the rest of Port-au-Prince by crime and poverty. Now, CHF has constructed a road that connects Cite Soleil to the international harbor, the center of commerce and government, and employed more than 2000 community members in the process, giving them the skills to get out of the trap of poverty.

Working with the private sector, CHF is training Haitian workers to perform skilled jobs in the construction and garment sectors. Partnering with Haytrac – the Caterpillar dealership in Haiti – CHF helped train Haitian men and women in heavy machine operations. These machine operators are now employed doing rubble removal and demolition – key tasks needed after the January 2010 earthquake. Through the Haiti Apparel Center (HAC), CHF will help Haiti grow its private sector workforce by training up to 2,000 professionals per year to help meet the need for skilled workers in Haiti's garment industry.

To help disaster-prone communities prevent future loss of life and property, CHF employs residents to carry out disaster mitigation projects. In the town of Cabaret, which is regularly affected by flooding, CHF reconstructed a river by straightening and widening it, building walls and foundations and planting flora to reduce erosion. In Gonaives, CHF has built drainage canals which are protecting the city and provided temporary employment and much needed income more than 5,000 residents.

Since the beginning of the program, KATA has succeeded in:
  • creating over 130,000 short term jobs
  • increasing access to clean drinking water for 48,000 people
  • establishing over 2000 microenterprises
  • repairing over 27km of roads
  • completing over 100 infrastructure projects